We found Billie Jean King all by herself in the player’s dining room late Thursday afternoon, sitting at a table with papers and index cards spread all over the table (remember, she’s a business woman!). We asked the tennis legend what she thinks of Kim Clijsters’ odds in the semifinals against Serena Williams.
“Kim’s so happy,” said Ms. King. “She’s the happiest I’ve ever seen her. She’s in a great shape. Physcially she can keep up with Serena pretty well. I’m pretty amazined as how well she’s playing. She’s fit and fabulous and she’s raring to go.”
“You have to go with Serena,” she said. “Clijsters is just back for a little bit. She’s getting used to the routine and getting used to the competition day in and day out. It takes time to remember what to do on critcal points–it’s like you know it instead of having to think about it.”
We wondered what she thought of Justine Henin’s strategy about going after Serena’s forehand. Ms. King said she agreed with it.
“That’s what you always check,” she said. “You always check with Serena if her forehand is going well or not because sometimes that’s the one that breaks down on her.”
Then Ms. King really started thinking it through and got a little exicted.
“The weather isn’t great, it’s windy, but they both hit through the ball that will help them. Just like in golf. You hit through the wind. They’re both very strong and that goes in both of their favors. It’s a really great match up! It probably should be the finals.”
“Women’s tennis is back,” she said. “The matches have been great this year and we are overdue.”